KD Guest Ranch TripAdvisor

Get Directions KD Guest Ranch

Please enter your address below.

Address:
City:
State:
Zip:


  • 0_7m.jpg
  • 0_9m.jpg
  • 0_12m.jpg
  • 0_10m.jpg
  • 0_4m.jpg
  • 0_8m.jpg
  • 0_6m.jpg
  • 0_2m.jpg
  • 0_1m.jpg
  • 0_5m.jpg
  • 0_3m.jpg
  • 0_11m.jpg
  • trail riding tab 1 trail riding tab 2Your stay at KD Guest Ranch will begin with an in-depth orientation, showing you how we train the horses, and how to groom and saddle. Each day at the Ranch you can enjoy two horseback riding activities. The trail rides wind through over 800 acres of rolling hills, creeks, and woodland of southeastern Ohio.  

  • team penning tab Try your hand at sorting and penning cattle. This event originated from the open lands of the west when the ranchers needed to sort their cattle back out from their neighbors. It is done with a team of three cowboys on horseback who’s goal is to be the fastest to cut out three calves and put them in a small pen. Whether you’re an experienced rider or a beginner rider, team penning is enjoyed by all, including the spectators.

  • pond tab Spend a relaxed afternoon at the picturesque 2 acre pond where you can fish, paddle boat, or canoe.

  • cowboy games tab Some other fun activities that you can participate in during your stay are horse painting, roping lessons, arena games on horseback, or riding a mechanical bull.

  • campfire tabpoker fun tabThe day isn't complete until you share in some of the evening fun.  Each night is different and could consist of a bonfire with smores, a high stakes poker game (don't worry, we provide the chips), a movie night in the surround sound movie theater, a sunset trail ride, or live music.  There is also the opportunity to kick back and relax on the porch as the sun sets or enjoy a drink in the saloon.

  • pool tabIn between riding or other Ranch activities you can go for a swim or lounge around the pool
    and soak up the sunshine. Our swimming pool is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Git Along - Saddle up for authentic ranch-hand experiences across Ohio.

There’s no need to travel outside Ohio if you’re looking to enjoy an authentic Western dude ranch experience.

KD Guest Ranch brings the Old West to the Midwest

We traveled across pastures, through woods, up and down hills, entertained along the way...

KD Guest Ranch brings the Old West to the Midwest

ADAMSVILLE, Ohio — Five months later and my kids are still trying to wrangle a return trip to the hills of southeastern Ohio, where they lassoed their cowgirl dreams in a single weekend.

True, KD Guest Ranch, spread across 550 acres in Muskingum County, is no farther west than Westlake. But try telling that to Dave and Kari Burkey, two experienced ranchers who could have just as easily set up camp outside Cody, Wyo., as outside Cambridge, Ohio.

They settled on Ohio because Kari's family farm is here. And, well, why shouldn't Ohio have its own dude ranch? We were, after all, the original western frontier.

For a week or a weekend -- however long your stay -- the Old West returns to the Midwest, with trail rides and rodeo games, campfires and cattle drives. The biggest difference between KD Guest Ranch and its higheraltitude cousins? "The only thing different is the terrain," says Dave, 29.

The highlight of our stay came inside the cattle pen, where we sat high atop our assigned horses -- Sonny and Rambo, Zia and Pandora -- ready to rule the bovines below.

City slicker that I am, I didn't even know what team penning was when I arrived at the ranch. It didn't take long to figure out. The object is to somehow get your horse to lead, push or otherwise cajole the cows into the small fenced area at the center of the larger pen. It's a game -- a rodeo event -- that has roots in a rancher's need to round up his cattle into a pen for branding.

There was no branding to be done on the afternoon of our activity (thankfully!), just a lot of adrenaline-pumping excitement as I steered Zia left and right, back and forth, trying to cut off, guide and ultimately outsmart the cows. (The cows, on loan from a nearby farmer for the summer, had been through this exercise untold times before and were somewhat compliant most -- but not all -- of the time.)

The afternoon's biggest thrill came when my 8-year-old daughter's horse got caught up in the excitement and bolted after a runaway cow. Sarah, smiling, hung on for dear life, as I, watching from outside the fence, let out a heart-stopping scream (mother's prerogative).

Horse lessons and trail rides
But of course, your stay at KD Ranch doesn't start in the cattle pen, or even on a horse. Ours started with a lesson on horse behavior, horse manners and horseback-riding basics.

"Talk with your reins and not with your mouth," advised Dave. Most horses, he said, don't respond well to screams of "Stop!" or "Turn right!"

If the horse is going too fast, pull back on the reins; to make the animals go faster, make some kissy noises, he said.

Kari offered an introduction to Horse Psychology 101, explaining the herd mentality of horses and the power of the broodmare, the leader of the pack.

After the lesson, we attended to our stable chores, first brushing our horses, then tacking our animals (that's horsespeak for outfitting them with their saddles, stirrups, etc.). It's not as easy as it looks; it took me three tries to figure out how to tie the girth, which holds the saddle in place. "It's like tying a man's knot," said Dave, which explained why my husband figured it out much more quickly than I did.

Finally, it was time to climb onto our horses and head out for our first of two trail rides. We traveled across pastures, through woods, up and down hills, entertained along the way by Dave's corny sense of horse humor.

"What do you call two horses that live next to each other?" he asked, then answered: "Naaaaay-bors."

"What's a cow with no legs?" He queried, and, when no one responded: "Ground beef."

Ha-ha!

Family-style meals satisfy your hunger
Bouncing atop a horse is, of course, hard, hunger-inducing work. And you won't want for food here.

Prices at the ranch -- which average $200 a day for adults during the summer -- include all activities and three family-style meals a day served in the main lodge.

The four of us were the only overnight guests during our visit, late in the season last fall. If there had been more guests, we would have all eaten together, joined by Kari and Dave.

The hilltop lodge is the hub of activity, with a pool table, small bar and wide-screen TV. There are no televisions in the rooms and they're not missed; bonfires, poker nights and occasional live music provide entertainment enough in the evening.

The feel of the place is as Western as Wyoming: A collection of cowboy boots is on display above the fireplace, country music plays on the stereo, and horseshoes act as towel racks in the bathrooms.

Overnight accommodations are down the hill in two large cabins, which were built by the Burkeys with lots of help from friends and families. Each cabin has two suites: Ours, the biggest, slept six in two bedrooms plus a loft; the other three suites sleep four each.

Ours, too, was the only one with a full kitchen, though why'd you need to cook anything when they feed you so well is beyond me.

Running the ranch is a family affair
The Burkeys, who met while they were working together on a ranch in Tennessee, opened KD in June 2007.

It's a family affair. Dave's parents, relocated from Oxford, Ohio, frequently help in the kitchen. Kari's folks and siblings, who still operate a 500-acre grain and beef farm on the land, pitch in when they are available.

And just wait till Kari and Dave's daughter, Braylie, born last May, is old enough to saddle a horse.

My family came for an abbreviated visit: two days on a glorious fall weekend, the last few days of the ranch's 2008 season, which runs April through October.

During the summer, guests have the option of staying for four-day or weeklong vacations. In the spring and fall, weekend visits are also offered.

Depending on how long you stay, activities include swimming and canoeing in a nearby pond; spending the night at a primitive cabin (read: no plumbing or electricity); and taking a trip to the Wilds, a nearby animal conservation park.

And you can't -- cannot! -- leave without climbing aboard the Burkeys' homemade bucking bronco, aka the Mighty Bucky, a herky-jerky ride powered by a T-bar hoisted up and down by Dave. Just try to forget how goofy you'll look bobbing around on the plastic barrel, hanging on for dear life. It makes trotting atop the ponies seem silky smooth in comparison.

Not all guests choose to ride the horses, according to Dave.

Nonriders tend to be grandparents, who help with the horses at the hitching post and then are happy to just watch.

But for those guests who come for the horses, the Burkeys promise at least one ride every day.

Which still wouldn't be enough for my kids.

http://www.cleveland.com/travel/index.ssf/2009/03/kd_guest_ranch_brings_the_old.html